Roland Kirk

Gifts and Messages [Candid]

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This CD has previously unreleased music featuring the remarkable Rahsaan Roland Kirk in 1964 during a London gig at Ronnie Scott's club. Joined by the talented pianist Stan Tracey, bassist Rick Laird and drummer Allan Ganley, Kirk puts on quite a show. He plays conventionally on tenor in spots (particularly during the opening "Bags' Groove") in addition to wailing on three horns at once and showing off his talents on manzello, stritch, flutes and what he called a saxophonium (a saxophone without a mouthpiece). There is a great deal of humor on this set including many song quotes, a wild version of Tadd Dameron's "On a Misty Night" that is worthy of Richie Cole, some wicked laughing and a few short monologues that are both witty and quite insightful. Although Rahsaan Roland Kirk really had to be seen to be fully appreciated (much of what he did was simply impossible), this CD gives one a fine overview of his unique abilities.

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